In December 2015 MERA approved a tariff increase of 6.6 percent per kilowatt effective 1st January 2016, barely a month after they also raised Electricity by 13.7 percent.
However, on Tuesday Cama successfully obtained an injunction from the Court stopping the tariff increase until the decision is reviewed.
According to CAMA Executive Director John Kapito, the decision to raise electricity was not justifiable as ESCOM has not been consistent with power provision to Malawians.
“ESCOM has been duping us, they have been failing to provide power for Malawians to use in their factories and homes for ages.
So to increase a paying amount for something that does not exist is stealing from Malawians who are already disappointed with their poor service,” explained Kapito.
But In December, Mera Board Chairperson Dingiswayo Jere defended the tariff increase, saying the hike is considering the impact of inflation rate and exchange rate movement.
However Kapito said Mera’s approval for a tariff hike is unjustifiable, because Escom has failed in most of the Key Performance Indicators necessitating further power hike.
“The Corporation has failed to meet the expectations of Malawians so there is no reason they should increase the price of something they are failing to provide,” added Kapito.
While not commenting on the injunction, ESCOM regional manager for South David Mbewe said the blackouts are due to the lowering levels of water in the Shire River.
He said the Corporation is helpless as the situation is due to the climate change which has affected the rainfall patern in the country.
“We are aware of the blackouts are we are trying to find ways of increasing the production by among others venturing into solar and coal,” said Mbewe.
Escom generates 351 megawatts of electricity which is half of what the country needs.
In Malawi, electricity tariffs are reviewed in every four years and since 2008 when Mera Board was elected, there have been two electricity tariff reviews, the first being from 2009 to 2013 and the second of 37.28 percent from 2014 to 2017.